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10 epic things you can do on cruise ships from skydiving and go-karts to waterparks

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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Cruise ships have heaps of cool activities (Image: Royal Caribbean)

Long gone are the days when cruise holidays sparked images of a slow-paced getaway at sea, with activities limited to shuffleboard or eating.

Nowadays, cruise ships have been given major upgrades with heaps of thrilling and bucket-list-worthy experiences for all ages, with some ridiculously cool activities including skydiving, go-kart tracks, ziplines and water parks jam-packed with adrenaline-inducing slides.

Even bars and lounges have been given their own twists whether that's a sci-fi bar where your drinks are served by a robot bartender, or having cocktails on a platform that hangs off the edge of a ship.

We take a look at the top 10 coolest activities you can enjoy onboard...

1. Brave a go at skydiving
The skydiving simulator on Royal Caribbean ships (Image: Royal Caribbean)

Always secretly wanted to try skydiving, but not swayed by the idea of jumping out of a plane?

Royal Caribbean has the perfect solution - a ride on the RipCord® by iFLY® simulator which lets you feel all the sensations of freefalling, without needing to leave the deck. Plus, it's family-friendly meaning both adults and children can have a go!

You'll find it on ships including Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas (which is sailing on UK cruises this summer ), Ovation of the Seas and Spectrum of the Seas.

2. Ride a rollercoaster
A sneak peek of the world's first rollercoaster at sea (Image: Carnival Cruise Line)

Carnival's new ships Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration, sailing in 2021 and 2022 respectively, will both feature BOLT, the first ever rollercoaster at sea!

Riders will be strapped into a motorcycle-style vehicle as they whizz around the open-air course above the top deck. (For those who can keep their eyes open, epic ocean views await!).

They can control their own speed, and there will be scoreboards so you can 'race' family and friends. (In fact, you can take a sneak peek at the ride here ).

3. Take on thrilling slides at a water park
Water parks are a key feature on most of the larger ships (Image: Royal Caribbean)

Cruise ships' waterparks aren't just splash zones for kids near the main pool (although there are plenty of those for younger passengers!). Nowadays, cruise lines are pulling out all the stops for thrill-seekers, and there are some epic slides for those ready for adventure.

For example, Royal Caribbean offers the likes of the Ultimate Abyss, the tallest waterslide at sea (on Harmony of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas), or Riptide, which hurtles you over the side of the cruise ship as you race on a mat (on Navigator of the Seas).

Meanwhile, Norwegian offers multi-storey waterslides on its Breakaway Class ships from the terrifying plunge on Free Fall, to the racing twister slides on The Whip. MSC Cruises also has Aqua Parks on a number of its Seaside and Meraviglia class ships, which boast heaps of water slides including racing attractions.

4. Drink cocktails served by a robot
A view of MSC Virtuosa's new Starship Club with a humanoid robotic bartender (Image: MSC Cruises)

Rob has all the skills you'd expect for a bartender - he can serve signature cocktails, pour spirits and create personalised drinks.

He just happens to also be the world's first humanoid robotic bartender at sea.

MSC's new ship MSC Virtuosa boasts a cool sci-fi bar themed bar which is where you'll find Rob - and the good news for Brits is that the new flagship is sailing on a series of British Isles itineraries this summer.

5. Soar above the ship on a zipline
Think you'd be brave enough? (Image: Royal Caribbean)

Want to take in views of the ship while also getting quite the adrenaline rush? Then you may want to check out the Zip Line onboard Royal Caribbean's ships where you can race above the boardwalks, ten decks high.

You'll find the thrilling experience onboard the likes of Harmony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.

6. Race on a go-karting track
Drivers racing on the Norwegian Joy's go-karting track

Competitive families and friends can put their go-karting skills to the test on board Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Bliss, where you'll find the longest race track at sea.

The electric karts can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, and there are some cool features such as race car engine sounds through the headrest's speakers to make it a fully immersive drive. Other highlights include a covered pit lane, a viewing platform for spectators, and a timed system as you race the others.

7. Take in the views on a magic carpet
Celebrity Edge has a cantilevered platform

It's not quite the carpet ride from Aladdin, but Celebrity Edge's cantilevered platform still offers up a pretty memorable experience!

The platform actually boasts its own bar meaning that guests can enjoy a tipple as they move up and down the ship - and as it's on the edge of the ship itself, you'll get to enjoy uninterrupted views of the ocean while you unwind.

8. Practice your surfing skills
Have a go at surfing with Royal Caribbean (Image: Royal Caribbean)

Royal Caribbean's 12-metre-long FlowRider surf simulator lets you grab a board and take on everything from gentle waves to roaring challenges for the more seasoned surfers.

Then of course you can brag that you once surfed in the middle of the ocean!

9. Ride a bike high above the ship
The SkyRide experience 150ft over the ocean

Forget an average bike ride on the ground - on Carnival ships, you can board the SkyRide where you ride a bike suspended high above the ship decks, with views of the activities and the ocean below. Although it's family-friendly, it's definitely not one for those with a fear of heights!

You'll find it on ships including Carnival Vista, Carnival Horizon and Carnival Panorama.

10. Explore the ocean on a submarine ride
Scenic Neptune submarine (Image: Scenic Cruise)

With holidays starting from £8,260, luxury yacht Scenic Eclipse isn't exactly a budget-friendly break, but it does boast some utterly incredible experiences - including underwater rides on its submarine Scenic Neptune!

Guests can step into the six-person sub, and go exploring some of the world's most breathtaking waters filled with colourful fish and other beautiful marine life.

Which of the top 10 do you think sounds the most exciting? Let us know in the comments below.

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